Sunday, April 30, 2006

Little and Huge Pesach Lessons

(I scribbled these in my mini-notebook throughout Chol Hamoed)

- Meditation and self-prep is important.

- Pesach is serious. It's a soul matter.

- Giving truly allows one to experience everything on a higher, more internal, level.

- Redemption exists everywhere on some level. We just have to uncover it.

- The spiritual and physical are ONE, totally connected and dependant on each other. Peeling a million cucumbers in the kitchen can change someones life.

- Simcha (happiness) breaks all boundaries.

- Matza is the most powerful food. Kavana and concentration are important.

- The Jewish people are alive. Like, you have no idea.

- Everyone wants Moshiach. Not only Lubavitchers. Not only Jews. The world is thirsting.

- Chabad Rabbis are, um, crazy. They just tell it like it is, and get away with it.

- Every emotion, every experience, has its place in G-d's light. It all leads to the same thing. G-d gave us eclectic experiences as a gift, for different types of people and revelations.

- Everybody has a different story, a different approach, that colors their every moment. All are just as amazing and extraordinary as the next.

- We are a family. You're not a guest at a Chabad House.

- Nothing makes sense in a Chabad House. The way things are run, why people come, hurdles passed over...something higher is so clearly running the show.

- It aint over 'till it's over. Don't work on the schedule. Suck all the juice out of every moment.

- There are some very strong basics that keep all us randoms together. There are no types or levels when it comes to straight up soul-living.

- Don't say, "I'll dance soon." It's all about NOW.

- True lamplighters must be able to see the light in the OTHER person. You have to see the electricity that's <em>already there</em>.

- Great moments happen when you just listen and let it in.

- Be a leader, always. But realize that you're just a passenger on the ride.

- A person doesn't need best friends and this and that friend. Whoever you're with at that moment...they are your best and only friends. They are the world.

- Don't change the way you think for your "guests." Share it like you live it. They want the real thing, straight up realness.

- You can be the busiest Rabbi on the scene and still be gently cradling your 1 year old in your arms.

- The Rebbe is more alive than ever. Not only is he guiding and directing everything, but people want to know about him more than ever. It's almost shocking.

- Share what you can of your experiences, for you don't actually own them.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Pesach condensed - but capturing it all.

I am finally at a computer.

Pesach was so charged with every emotion, so many stories, crazy high energy. I could right all about the music, the dancing. I could write about Benni, the most inspiring person I've met in a while. I could write about crazy late night bonding sessions. I could write about the Moshiach Seuda. I could write about the 6 hour hike to and from Amuka. I could write about powerful Matza experiences. I could write about the highs of being on Shlichus.

I could write without ever stopping. I could write about all of it with enthusiasm, remembering every detail. I could laugh and cry all over again, as I search for the right words.

But none of it can truly be summed up or relayed through mere words. Its too vivid, too real, and in many ways - too personal. All my experiences from Pesach have touched the deepest part of me, and I'm confident they'll live on forever, constantly reshaping my present and future, serving to raise every moment.

I had no clue how I would attempt to write tonight. Yesterday, I looked so forward to being able to get to a computer the next day, tonight. But what to write? What experience to give over, to get out? I was clueless, for real.

And then I woke up this morning. My experience just waking up gave me exactly the experience I wanted to really give across, to help others get a feel of the jam packed past weeks.

(the following is a totally un-exaggerated report of my experience this morning)


I've been sick with a cold/cough, and my dreams when I'm sick are always very colorful. This one was no exception.

I was in a green field with all different types of people of all ages. Every "type" of Jew was there, and we were all socializing happily. Good energy. All of a sudden, the sky got our attention. It turned a deep blue. Next thing, the moon started racing towards the sun. It actually joined the sun, pouring beautiful colors into the field. It then passed through the sun, and continued in a circle, passing through the sun again and again. We were all marveling at the sight. Then, tons of laughing children came out of nowhere and were dancing in the field, as sprinkles - or something like it - started to rain down on everyone.

That's when the dream ended.

I woke up to a loud blaring sound. I sat up quickly, trying to see if I was actually hearing it, or was indeed just a sick delirious and tired girl. No, I wasn't crazy! There WAS a loud sound. It sounded like someone was blowing a loud shofar from the Metsuda (the highest point of Tzfas - a mountain top right outside my apartment)! I couldn't believe it! Moshiach is here! It's actually happening! I raced to open my shades to see the person blowing the shofar - but I couldn't see anything between the trees. But still, I could hear it! I was overjoyed, but so many thoughts came into my head. I am in my pajamas! I can't greet Moshiach like this! And where are my apartment mates?! I wanted to share this moment with them! Where do I go? What do I do?

I ran outside my room to find one of my apartment mates looking panic-stricken from the loud shofar sound. I couldn't understand why she looked scared. I was thinking, "Hello! Moshiach is here! Quick, get dressed! Lets go!"

This is when I found out that the huge minute long blast was for Holocaust Memorial Day - it was the minute of silence that grossly invades a minute of every year here in Israel.

Moshiach is still not here. But I am glad that during the sound, a sound that signifies death and silence and pain, there was one crazy girl, so high off her Pesach experience, racing to greet Moshiach.


I was not completely dissapointed when I found out Moshiach wasn't actually here, although I remember thinking, "Yea, how do YOU know it wasn't a shofar?" But still, I dunno, I really hope not to be wearing my pajamas when Moshiach arrives.

But, I realized the real reason I wasn't disappointed is because, for me lately, every single day has had elements of Moshiach. This morning showed me just how much I've been really living redemption. Every moment had been packed with such a barrier-breaking, freedom-ringing, redemption-bouncing sort of focus. I feel it so deeply - there's no going back, only forward...and I can't wait. I've definitely strengthened my yearning for the real and final redemption, that's for sure. But until it comes (may it be now!), I've been blessed to bring parts of it into my everyday, to reveal it in every encounter, every person.

I miss Pesach. But clearly, it is with me for good - so I am happy.

Even if it took an abrupt arousal from bed and a semi-delirious experience to prove it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

This is it, baby!

Shlichus offers for next year are getting real.

And with it, my inner battleground.

I don't get the trend.

If something in my life seems true, is real, is meant to be - I fear it.

I'm turning 20 in 19 days, and my life is heading in exactly the
direction of my wildest dreams.

I'm bursting with positive energy.

And yet, I am nervous.

The fear and the yearning are stirring in one place, sharing a room in
my stomach, making it turn and burn.

My mission in this world is getting more and more clear with each
passing day. I am a small floating Jew being told to introduce
something into this world that is unique.

It's so huge.

I want to just stop this train. Let me off. I'm scared!

But everything I've been waiting for lies at the destination.

I'm crying. For ease. For strength. For self confidence. For wings.

I want to hate fear. As much as it's been the most faithful partner in
this whole journey, a partner I have learned to embrace, sometimes I
just don't want it to feel so welcome. Sometimes I just want to put a
gun to its head and say, "Don't even think about making the slightest
move. I know what I want now. You can't, you WON'T, get in my way."

But I know by now that if I pulled the trigger... I'd wake up from
this dream. I'd...I'd...go back in time - undo everything. Without
fear, this would all be a...a cartoon or something.


Because, looking back, the fear was the key. It's what made things
real. It's what told me, "This is it, baby." You're scared? Right on.
Proceed. Enter here. DO this.

I remember sitting in the Madrid airport on my way to Israel. My fear
was almost as tangible as the thick layers of cigarette smoke and
chatter taking over the benches around me. One more ride, and I'd be
in Israel. When I finally landed, was actually here, I wasn't even
thinking about fear. Everything inside was quiet and clear. Except
for one thing. This little person inside me that finally rose, and was
ready for the world. She incorporated the fear, put on her wings, and
flew with an unexpected strength.

This girl realized what her real fear was. It was a fear that went
beyond a mere choice. It was the fear of not fulfilling her potential.
The fear of failing to carry out her mission.

It was the fear that finally made her move.

I'm ready to move.

The fear? Its got my back.

This is it, baby. This is it.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I'm a Crazy Jew

Flowing through the streets today, I heard someone say, "crazy Jew."

I just heard it. I don't know who said it, who it was towards - I know nothing.

But maybe he was he talking to me.

After all...

I believe in angels.

I believe in flying Rabbis.

I believe that an ancient "book" holds all the secrets to this world.

I believe in a tangible line connecting me to my forefathers.

I doubt that which I can see, and believe in that which I can't.

I believe in many worlds. I believe I can reach them, and exist in them all.

I find certainty in what can't be proven.

I believe I have tens of thousands of siblings, and that all their
actions deeply affect my here, my now, my future.

I believe that you and I have a soul, and that it's powerful and eternal.

I believe in a totally pure and G-dly place within me and you.

I believe in a holy spark within rocks, plants, animals, and people.

I believe that a spider the size of a bread crumb has an enormous purpose.

I believe that my own smallness is great and mighty and can erupt to
flip the world on its side.

I believe that the world as we know it can change and enter a new era
at any moment.

I believe that one small deed is a whole world of beauty and purpose
and completion in G-d's eyes.

I believe the Almighty, the creator of this world, needs me - that he
has a mission that is imperfect without me.

I believe in what I don't yet know.

I believe - despite the seemingly bad, the evil, the concealment.

I will always believe.


Because I am a crazy Jew.


A chassid is discussing his mission with the Rebbe...

The chassid says, "But Rebbe, they will think I'm crazy!"

The Rebbe smiles warmly and replies, "Nu? Be crazy!"